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Neutral (well, mostly) California Nursery + Shop The Look

It’s time for yet another e-design reveal and this time we have after photos to show you.  Our lovely client Sophie and her husband, were expecting their second baby and contacted us to help them with a few rooms in their house – one being their new nursery.

The room itself is a really interesting shape with lots of cute moulding details and gets a ton of natural light, which was a great base for us to work with.  They had already painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl which is an EHD fave.

Sophie Gray Nursery Before 1

Sophie Gray Nursery Before 2

The brief from Sophie was very simple indeed: A neutral nursery.  I actually had a conversation with her to find out a bit more and she sent over a few tips for what they were looking for furniture-wise.

– We have a cute white crib that is circular and can change from small to large 

– We have a changing table top that can go on a new dresser 

– I would like to get a new dresser, a new glider (not a rocking chair), bedding, a small book shelf, lamp, art work, and accessories

– Do not need window treatments – there are pretty white shutters in this room 

– The room is painted Gray Owl (Benjamin Moore) 

– Hot pink, I love hot pink.


Our designer Ali got to work on it and came up with two different schemes using a fairly neutral palette and brought in pops of color through the use of accessories.


Ali laid everything out on a plan to show Sophie where things should be placed. I thought it looked great and Emily checked it over and said “You ladies are good”. We moved forward.


3 Brass Mirrors | Kyra Pink Pillow | Suzani Lumbar Pillow | Woodblock Navy Pillow | Argington Organic CribHanging Mobile | Crib Sheet | Tall White Bookshelf | Hamper Basket | Small Bookshelf (no longer available) | Delany Rug | Kantha Quilt | Hot Pink Heart Print | Marbled Wake Print | Grace Painted Print | Macrame Wall Hanging (no longer available)Ocean Currents Abstract Print | Flamingo Art Print | Changing Cover | Madison Swivel Glider | Brass Floor Lamp | White Trim Dresser | Pom Pom Basket | Gold Pouf

Below is what we sent over to Sophie when we issued the initial presentation of both options:

For the first option, we opted for a neutral rug. This rug creates an overall calm and serene vibe, is versatile enough to be used anywhere in your home and is a more affordable option. We love the colors in the second rug. This option is a bit more unique and brings more color into the room, creating a focal point for the room. Both are beautiful options. As far as size goes, an 8’x10’ rug would fit the room better. However, the door swinging  into the room and both rugs being thicker options, we might suggest a 5’x7’ size as being more functional for this space. With a white crib and larger white bookcase, we wanted to bring more warmth to the space, therefore we opted for this white trim dresser. Two different neutral gliders both fit within your budget and would work well in either space. To bring in the mid century, glam, and boho look you like, we selected a mix of textures and patterns throughout the space. The gold pouf, brass mirrors, and brass lamp are an example of this and help bring a bit of glam to the space.


3 Brass Mirrors | White Mudcloth Pillow (no longer available) | Diamond Weave Pillow | Argington Organic CribHanging Mobile | Wild and Free Landscape PrintCrib Sheet | Tall White Bookcase | Hamper Basket | Small Bookshelf (no longer available) | Kantha QuiltMacrame Wall Hanging (no longer available) Double Diamond Rug | Horse Art Print | Changing Cover | Let’s Get Lost Print | Blue Cactus Print | Gold Pouf | Bento Glider | White Trim Dresser | Brass Floor Lamp

Because of the size of your room, we selected two different bookcases. The smaller rattan one is more unique and brings a natural element to the space. We placed it in the nook across from the glider because we think it would be nice to stock with books and would be easily accessible from the glider. The larger white one could be placed on the wall with the door next to the hamper basket and could be stocked with accessories, toys or storage baskets. As far as art goes, we selected a few options. Two of the four walls have windows, which don’t leave a lot of room for art. The third wall contains the tall white bookcase, but we suggest placing the three brass mirrors on this wall above the hamper basket. We know some people don’t like to put art above a changing table dresser therefore we love the idea of a cool macrame wall hanging. If you do decide on art in that area, you could do a small gallery wall (seen in option 1) or a large scale art piece (seen in option 2). Many of the art pieces could also be placed over the glider.

We know you love hot pink and for both options we worked to bring in pops of pink throughout. We love the idea of mixing patterns while still keeping within a color scheme, and thought you could achieve this look of pattern mixing through the use of pillows, crib sheets, and a colorful kantha baby quilt. To complete the space, we selected this stars and cloud mobile which works well in either space and brings a bit of metallic and whimsy to the space.

Overall Sophie loved the scheme but did have a few items she wanted changing out:

I’ve had some time to think about the nursery and I really do love it! I am definitely going to go with the second style… The only items I would like to ask about are the following:

1. I would like to see another glider that is higher end – maybe a monte? have you guys had any good experience with one?

2. Could i see another crib sheet option? I actually have that sheet on my 2 year olds bed 😉 

3. I did some research and have found that some people have a hard time with their backs when they use a dresser and changing top instead of a proper changing table – could you provide an option for a changing table?


1. Como Glider | 2. Luca Glider | 3. Milo Glider (similar) | 4. Sparrow Glider | 5. Toby Glider

Glider – We picked some higher end options for you in off white and white colors to keep things light and airy. We also tried to select a few with some nice details such as the walnut or rose gold bottom. We recently used the rose gold glider in a project for Sara Sugarman and it is beautiful in person.  Sadly, since we sent this presentation over the copper base glider has gone out of stock.


1. Scout Side Table (no longer available) | 2. Modern Spindle Side Table |  3. Snow Capped Side Table | 4. Tropical Teak Side Table

Accent tables – We selected a few pieces that are simple and would complement the glider options we selected above.


Changing Table
1. Summer Infant Changer | 2. Jenny Lind Changing Table | 3. Change It Up Changing Table | 4. Babyletto Lolly Changer | 5. Peek-a-Boo Changing Table | 6. Ava Changing Top Dresser

Changing tables – The optimum height for a changing table is 32”-42” depending on your height, but we made sure all of these tables are above 35″. If you do choose to use a changing table you could replace either of the bookcases and put the changing table in its place (they should all fit on the floor plan). And for the tables with open shelving, we recommend woven baskets for storage and to help bring in more warmth to the space. 

Crib Sheets

1. Star System Crib Sheet | 2. Jenni Kanye Crib Sheet | 3. Mod Botanical Crib Sheet | 4. Dots Crib Sheet

Crib sheets – We like the idea of sticking with a subtle pattern because it mixes well with the other patterns in the room and the rug makes such a statement. 

Following this Sophie sent us the sweetest message back:

Ali I don’t know you but I love you bc you guys have created my DREAM nursery – thank you to the moon and back:) I’m SO happy!!!

And since that sweet note we got, Sophie has ordered and installed everything, had her baby Penelope, AND even had the space photographed so we could blog about it.

Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 2

The room turned out super cute and we love how the light woods and whites work with the pops of colour and gold tones.

Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 1

Sophie stuck with the original dresser that we proposed and we actually think this works the best.  The light wood brings a nice warmth to the space whilst the rounded edges and white accents keep it feeling young and fresh.

(Hey guys, Emily jumping in here: I have both a dresser with a changing table top and a proper higher changing table and I much prefer the lower bigger dresser. It might be because I’m used to it, or because Charlie is so heavy that the idea of lugging him onto the higher changing table seems both physically impossible and dangerous as he might crush it. Although I’m pretty sure that he should be closer to potty trained by now … point is – they both work, but I personally like the lower option, myself).

Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 3

We love the crib Sophie chose, the soft organic edges and legs are a great added detail.  The rug works really well in here and pops off the neutral colour carpet.


And here’s the very cute Penelope and her big sister Amelie. Oh geez. This is insanely cute.

Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 4

The feather mobile was made by Sophie’s friend Becky who did the flowers for the shoot. Nice job, Becky. This flowers and that feather mobile are amazing.

Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 5

Instead of the tall white bookcase we had suggested, Sophie picked this really fun one from Oeuf which works great in here and brings in more of that neutral wood/white element into the room.

Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 6Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 7Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 8

Sophie styled out the shelves herself with a few hints from us and she did a really great job, they look super cute. You are making us look really good over here.

Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 9Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 10Sophie Grey Nursery Girls Pink Makeover After Photo 11

It’s so exciting to see how things turn out when they are done from an e-design and this project didn’t disappoint. It is neutral, sure, but full of style, function and of course happiness.


And you can’t beat a cute baby shot. A very, very, very cute baby shot.


We have two more e-designs that we did for Sophie which we’ll be posting about soon (sadly no after photos with those though) … unless we can bully her into finishing them quickly so that they can be shot. But hey, she has two small kids so we  know that her first priority isn’t exactly decorating their house.

Congrats on your room, and most importantly your new baby. Hopefully you are sleeping more than Emily tells us she is 🙂

Interested in having us help you out with a room layout or full redesign? Visit our services page for more details.

*Design boards by Ali Henrie for EHD with design direction by Ginny Macdonald, overseen by Emily Henderson. Post written by Ginny (with a few additions by EH). 

**After photos by Elizabeth Hurley Photography 

***Flowers by Mums Floral Design

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8 years ago

So so pretty! I love that if you swapped the crib out for a bed this would instantly be a beautiful space for adults, but it is completely appropriate and sweet for a nursery. Amazing job all around!

8 years ago

So pretty! And super fun to see the ‘after’ for an edesign. Great job!

8 years ago

Wow! This is fantastic! Sophie is one hell of a shelf-styler!

8 years ago

This is a beautiful room! I love seeing how she took the design recommendations and made them her own!


sorry my caps were on…i didn’t mean to yell..

8 years ago

So much inspiration here. Love every detail of this room ?

8 years ago

This looks really great! One of my favorite nurseries I’ve ever seen. I especially love the dresser (don’t usually love light wood, but it looks perfect here) and the rug. Great job!!!

Jenny B
8 years ago

Nursery is adorable, but the picture with the sisters on the pouf of a sheepskin rug takes the cake in the adorableness race! Busy big sister and baby sister that lays there as all baby siblings do 🙂

8 years ago

Amazing post as always, but I would appreciate it if the name of the author was at the beginning not the end (unless it’s Emily speaking).

Donna T.
8 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree, I was slighlty confused until the end. It said Emily at the top, but then had a comment about “Emily checked it” in the content.

8 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

yeah, I was confused as well. That one sentence didn’t make sense, just figured it wasn’t emily, no biggie.

Kate Lim
8 years ago
Reply to  kelly

Something like Hi, this is Ali…then she went on. Cos’ the opening was like written by Emily with the “my designer Ali…” I don’t think anyone refers to themselves this way. 😉

8 years ago

This is the best nursery I’ve seen on this blog, as far as I can remember. Not that the others were lame, obviously, but this one is adorable AND still very practical: in the following years, you can get rid of the crib, add a bed and a desk and this is a perfect room for a kid and later for a teenager. I don’t have kids yet, but this is the kind of nursery I would love! I could go a bit crazier on the walls (just paint, right?), but I don’t think I’d be willing to spend a lot on furniture that is too “childish”.
Terrific work, Ali!

8 years ago

Absolutely lovey.

8 years ago

aWoogah woogah (the sound of my eyes popping out of my head). I lurve this. I may just wholesale rip it off, and I don’t have nursery, or a daughter.

8 years ago

Love the nursery! Everything is so beautiful and the natural lighting in the space makes me jealous. 🙂

Can I make a blog-related request though? It would be really helpful (to me at least) if you put who authors the post at the top. I read half-way through with Emily’s voice in my head, but then you said “and Emily checked it over” and I was like wait, what? I though Emily was writing this? If the author’s name was right up top, it would make a lot more sense when reading the post.

That is all, thanks!

8 years ago

Well done EHD team!!! I’m over the moon for that rug! And for what its worth I thought it was very well written, and it didn’t bother me to get to the end and discover it was written by Ginny. Nice surprise 🙂

Kate Lim
8 years ago
Reply to  Meg

I thought it was written by Ali..gosh..

8 years ago

I love seeing the room designs! Thank you for sharing the process you go through with your clients– it gives me a better idea of what it would be like if I could hire a designer. I am surprised the client went with a off-white/light glider though! I’m envisioning terrible diaper blowouts or a toddler snack gone wrong on that gorgeous chair.

Donna T.
8 years ago

Great post! These e-designs are becoming a favourite series of mine, ESPECIALLY when there are after pictures. I love seeing the customer’s feedback and the response from the design team. And great bookshelf styling by Sophie too!

This is one of my favourite nurseries because all the permanent areas (walls, windows), and larger pieces of furniture are suitable for an adult room also. But it is definitely a cute baby room which can grow easily with her.

8 years ago

Such a cute baby room. Its bright, cheerful and cozy at the same time. And there are so many great pieces like, the rattan side table, macrame, rug- love those! Is it weird to have a thick rug on top of a carpet? That’s always jarring for me to see. Special shout out to mom for getting all this done and having the baby. Women are amazing!!

8 years ago

Does anyone know where the blanket she actually has hanging over the crib came from. I want it!

8 years ago
Reply to  Anna

It’s a one-of-a kind piece from The Little Market, but they have lots of other adorable designs on their site.

Courtney Fj
8 years ago

Wow, this is SOOOOOO good! I love it! It’s great to see one of these e-projects go to completion and the fact that it turned out so wonderfully gives me confidence that this is something I’d like to try in the future.

8 years ago

What a lovely space! Do you know where the white figurine on the bookshelf (the mother holding a baby) is from? Not to be a downer, but I’ve been looking for something like that to commemorate a miscarriage and just really love that figurine.

8 years ago
Reply to  P.

What a beautiful idea. Hope you find it, mama, and other items to soothe your soul and remind you of your sweet babe. So sorry for your loss. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

8 years ago
Reply to  Jennifer

Thank you so much, Jennifer – your sweet words made my day.

8 years ago

Love it! Am contemplating reaching out to you guys for an e-design project turning my nursery into a “big” girl’s room so I’m particularly loving these sorts of posts! I also really appreciate that you guys include links to everything you suggest to your clients.
I saw one commenter express concern about the light glider. I went with a relatively light glider (the Gus Sparrow you linked to above, though in a grey color) and maybe I just lucked out with a non-puker and/or they used some great stain resistant fabric, but nearly 3 years later of daily use and there is not a single spot on mine! (I’ve cursed myself now, haven’t I!?!).

8 years ago

I’m sure it’s vintage but details on the brass bunny, pretty please??

8 years ago

Love everything in this room! And that end table!

8 years ago


8 years ago

It is so much fun to see an e-design with the actual results. I totally get why you can’t force clients to finish the design and get it photographed and all that, but I love it. Thank you Sophie! And Emily! And EHD team!

8 years ago

beautiful work! I especially love the artwork. it will work as she gets older, too. the whole design is very versatile! also I know there’s this whole movement against girls/pink but I love the color scheme!

one note for the parents though: it looks like the small rattan(?) bookshelf is tipping forward, and could be a topple hazard when baby becomes toddler. you might consider attaching to the wall, or adding extra height to the front legs so it leans back towards the wall.

8 years ago
8 years ago

So, so cute and stylish! You all did a great job, and so did Sophie. I wasn’t feeling the tall white bookcase (it is pretty cookie cutter, and a possible topple hazard) and think she made a great decision to go for something with more character. And thank you Sophie for the gorgeous pictures!

8 years ago

I can’t believe nobody pointed out that the wood beads on that feather mobile are a big time choking hazard. It’s lovely, but that would scare the crap out of me.

8 years ago
Reply to  T.

A baby could never reach them. By the time they were big enough to sit or stand up in their crib, the crib mattress would have been lowered down.

Chaya Jain
8 years ago

Great post …. Thanks for bringing it up…
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8 years ago

This is beautiful!!

8 years ago

What a beautiful nursery! I LOVED this post for many reasons, but mostly because we get an inside scoop on the back and forth between the client and designer. It’s so interesting and I love that you share that part of the process.

8 years ago

Gorgeous! Fabulous result. Love the design!

8 years ago
Reply to  Ella

Love it, Emily! Can anyone speak to Oeuf’s quality? I love the bookcase/display, but I wonder how the white panels on it look and feel. They’re MDF, and in my experience, MDF with white paint can either skew IKEA or sleek.

8 years ago

WOW, great accurate post and stunning work. I really love it!
Anna From Italy

yeeeeh very goood.thanks

8 years ago

Hi there! Do you mind sharing the room planner site that you used to measure out the space? Is it user-friendly? I love your blog and all of the insight that you share in each post. Basically, you rule. Thank you! Heather